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Monday, November 16, 2015

Why Most People Failed This Last Weekend

The Miracle Healing


This last week was a particularly troubling one for me.

I witnessed three friends knowingly turn their backs on truth (and no, this had nothing to do with church policies).

The common denominator: Pride. Pride that they know more than the Lord. Pride that they know more than the scriptures. Pride that their way is best. Period.

It was really hurting me for days.

I was grieving about this situation this afternoon as I walked to my car for an appointment. Before I opened the car door, the thought struck me that I should call a friend, whom I hadn't spoken with for a while. As I hopped into the car, I received a ding on my cellphone. I switched it on to discover a text message from the very friend I'd just been thinking about. The text said, "Call sometime, I'd like to lift you..."

A Macro-Example


Sometimes, it's the Spirit who bids us to comfort the brokenhearted. Other times, it's pretty easy to see who needs comforting.

The events which transpired last weekend in France rightfully generated a worldwide wave of support and prayers. Still, there were a few who responded either with celebration (mainly in the Middle East) or indifference (The White House) to the attacks.

In my opinion, some passed the test of compassion. Others just outright failed it.


Did You Fail This Opportunity To Be Christlike?


Yet there was another event which occurred last weekend -- one which saw many fail the compassion test.

As the Washington Post reported on November 16th, about 1,500 people resigned their memberships in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints two days earlier. On that same day, there were 15,372,337 members on the rolls of the church. By my count, about 0.00009757787 of all church members submitted their resignations.

That's a pretty small percentage. Quantitatively, no big deal, right?

That's what some believed. In fact, some proudly posted to other supposed followers of Jesus Christ that the number was not only insignificant, but meaningless, because the vast majority of the 1,500 resigners were (statistically) inactive or former members of the church.

Real, Direct Quotes

"Mehhh, big deal. They're mostly non-members or inactives anyway." 
"By in large, they were on their way out the door anyway." 
"They're obviously not faithful Mormons, faithful Mormons would never leave." 
"I think this cleansing will be good for the LDS Church. They can easily walk down South Temple and find another church that supports their lifestyle." 
"I hope they enjoyed the attention they crave, their 15 minutes in the sun."
(I could post similar comments from online forums dedicated to obeying church leaders, following Christ, studying Last Days events and temporal preparation).

In the vast majority of the pictures I saw of the mass resignation, and the blog posts I've read of those who felt pushed out, pushed away and ostracized, none appeared to be having the time of their lives. Many were sad, mad, distraught, hopeless, helpless and very emotional about the situation.

Now, regardless of where you stand on the church's recent policy changes, one fact remains:

The Lord just handed the other 99.99024221235847% of the remaining Church members a golden chance to display compassion. To "weep with them them weep" (Romans 12:15), "to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort" (Mosiah 18:9).

Judging by the social media posts, online newspaper article comments and private hallway conversations at church, how do you think we did?

Next Time


How can we, who have been given so much light and truth, ever expect to survive "the holocausts that shall surely be" and qualify for Zion, if we lack compassion -- especially during times of relative ease and comfort?

If you've ever read Isaiah (which the Lord commanded us to search, "for great are the words of Isaiah"; 3 Nephi 23:1), you'll quickly realize that someday soon, there will be a day of judgment, a day of reckoning, a day of visitation. The D&C 88:91 says that "all things shall be in commotion." Although many are dismissive in believing that such prophecies apply to some long-distant time in the future, I beg to differ. They are at our doors.  Now.

When these events arise, what will be your attitude regarding those who are captured by invading armies or suffering the effects of trauma-induced depression, disease or drought?
"Mehhh, big deal. They had their chance to prepare. They did it to themselves"??? 
"By in large, they were on their way out the door anyway"??? 
"They're obviously not faithful people"??? 
"This cleansing will be good for the new Millennial era"???
If you say you'll be different then, but weren't that way now, congratulations -- you've discovered something to work on.

The Take Away


Let's face it, my friends: by and large, with few exceptions, many of us failed the compassion test last week.

I invite you to join me in learning from this circumstance.

Resolve to do better the next time an opportunity arises to display true compassion.

Pray that the Lord blesses you with an abundance of the Gift of Compassion.

Then await your opportunity to be a Good Samaritan.

Because I have no doubt that the Lord will fulfill that righteous desire, thus empowering you to proactively say to another, "I'd like to lift you."

My friend was led by the Spirit to heal my troubled soul today -- a fact for which I am immeasurably grateful. I feel whole again.

I invite you to make a similar difference in others' lives from now on.
"Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy
… And he did heal them every one." (3 Nephi 17:7,9; emphasis mine)

2 comments:

  1. I too have read and heard comments like these and was pained. I hurt for the individuals and their families. There is so much confusion in the world today and we are all affected by the culture in which we grow up. Sometimes I think we dismiss painful situations because it feels safer to us that way. To feel compassion we have to put ourselves in the other person's shoes and that feels so much more vulnerable. Perhaps one of the greatest tests of these last days will be whether we can stand for right and still stand by others who struggle. Such a difficult challenge. It's much more comfortable to stand on our personal Rameumptums and thank the Lord that we better than our fellow men. We all sin and we all need a Savior. We all have painful things that happen in our lives. We need to love and care for one another.

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  2. Thank you for this powerful reminder. Love that definition of compassion!! We are all in need of mercy. May we always have the spirit of our Savior in our hearts! I appreciate the thought and effort you put into this blog. Thank you!!

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